Process of life is death; one has to die every moment in order to live. Swami Vivekananda says; “The lamp is constantly burning out, and that is its life. If you want to have life, you have to die every moment for it. Life and death are only different expressions of the same thing looked at from different standpoints; they are the falling and the rising of the same wave, and the two form one whole.”
Swami Vivekananda says that struggle is the sign of life, and that the more we struggle the more we know. It seems to be a paradox that the more we evolve self-consciousness the more we suffer and the more we know. We are like mere puppets being used by consciousness which is seeking its fulfillment.
Hope keeps the flame of life burning in every living-being. So much is the faith of every living-being in hope that they forget the inevitable that is death. Such is the power of hope that a dying man hopes for a longer life and a sick man hopes for a healthy life. The biggest wonder on earth is that we observe others dying now and then, yet think that this will not happen to us. This feeling does not occur with just a few; it is the case with almost every living-being. Although we observe our body growing from being young to becoming old and we observe people dying, still we always hope against the inevitable. However life ends with death. One who takes birth has to die one day.
Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda
Hope keeps the flame of life burning in every living-being. So much is the faith of every living-being in hope that they forget the inevitable that is death. Such is the power of hope that a dying man hopes for a longer life, a sick man hopes for a healthy life, an unsuccessful man hopes for success. Whatever may happen, hope always remains alive.
Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing or incident to happen. Hope is a feeling of trust. Such is the potency of this feeling that we ignore the inevitable and keep on living in the hope that this will not happen to us. The biggest wonder on earth is that we observe others dying now and then, yet think that this will not happen to us. This feeling does not occur with just a few; it is the case with every living-being. Although we observe our body growing from being young to becoming old and we observe people dying, still we always hope against the inevitable.
Scriptures explain this ‘hope’ in Sanskrit with the word ‘sat’. ‘Sat’ means the desire to live eternally. All living-beings, if asked, will say that they do not wish to die. Apart from the desire for eternal life, we also have desire for knowledge (‘chit’ in Sanskrit) and desire for happiness (‘anand’ in Sanskrit). Our soul which is eternal is hence ‘satchitanand’ that is why no one wants to die, no one wants to be fool; no one wants sorrow. Everyone hopes to live forever.
Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda
The word ‘karma’ is a Sanskrit word derived from the root kri, which means ‘to do’. ‘Karma’ means any action that one does. Eating, walking, sleeping, studying, working-all these and any other action can be termed ‘karma’. The rituals prescribed by the Vedas or dharmashastras are also called ‘karma’. The portion of the Vedas that discuss the rituals is called karma-kanda.
Karma also means the effects of actions. The effects of an action can also be called karmaphala but generally the word karma is used. Karma used in the sense of the effect of an action means one has to reap the fruits of whatever actions one does, across various life times. The idea of doing called kartrivta or doership and experiencing called bhoktrivta or enjoyership leads to result of one`s own actions.
Karma may be different types according to its purpose. Nithya karma is action that has to be performed every day. Naimithyaka karma is that to be performed which is specific for person concerned. Niskama karmas are those actions that are performed without purpose of gaining any personal benefit or sense of kartrivta for the general good of others.
Based on the time of fruition of the karma, it can be Sanchita, Prarabdha and Agami Karma . Sanchita karma is the package of karma due to our past actions, which have to be exhausted in our future lives. Prarabdha Karma is that portion of the past karma that has given rise to the present body and which has to be exhausted by experiencing during the present life. Agami Karma is the karma yet to be earned in the present life or in the future lives.
Karma Yoga is doing work selflessly without expecting fruits of actions performed.
Dr Mahesh Chandra Panda
The Bhagavad Gita is the essence of the teachings of the Upanishads and, in simple terms, Lord Krishna explains the way to salvation through the paths of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga. The first six chapters of Bhagavad Gita are devoted to the exposition of the method of Self-realisation through Karma Yoga and Jnana yoga. The second set of six chapters deals with Bhakti Yoga and states that the object of Bhakti is God. The third set sums up and clarifies the essence of what was earlier explained. The three paths of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga are intimately intermixed to generate various paths with varying resultant paths which are suitable for different types of personalities or stages in life. Moksha is probably the complete satisfaction after which there is no desire to know or achieve physically in life. As per Lord Krishna one can achieve moksha in all three ways.
Karma is required to be done physically. So, all acts, requiring primarily physical execution are dealt in Karma Yoga. Though Karma yoga requires mental function too, but here physical work is supreme. The knowledge part, observation, inference, discussions, decision between right or wrong are classified under Jnana Yoga. Bhakti yoga is happiness through emotions by complete submission on the part of individual to anybody whom he thinks devoted to. He may be God as per person’s own thinking or any individual the person finds devoted to. Physically and mentally capable persons, in a position to do socially required tasks, doing their work in best possible way, working honestly, truthfully and with a service above self motive, are supposed to pursue Karma Yoga or Jnana Yoga. Bhakti Yoga is pursued by personalities who are primarily concerned with Ishwar Pranidhana (Spiritual Quest) or who cannot take to first two paths, because of age or other reasons. Bhakti Yoga provides eternal bliss and moksha to persons who followed first two paths in their prime life and have now retired from these paths.
Some people are emotionally very loving, very affectionate. Such people find Bhakti Yoga as the supreme and Bhakti Yoga will be very helpful for them to grow very fast towards the highest achievement. Some people are great intellectuals, they have got powerful intellect. They can understand. They can see through things and their logical brain is very strong. For them the Jnana Yoga is the best. The Jnana Yoga uses that intellect to transcend itself to go the highest. There are some people who are very good at hands, doing work, any work you give immediately they are going to do that. They may not be great thinkers but they can do the work very efficiently and see that the work is done. For such people the Karma Yoga is the best. But today in the modern society we need all these dimensions; intellectually one should be very sharp, emotionally highly developed and good at work; otherwise one cannot face the challenges of the modern era of science and technology.
Dr Mahesh Chandra Panda
Learning is a lifelong process both in terms of duration and diversity. A key element in lifelong learning is receptivity or openness. It is to retain a youthful mind even when the body continues to age. It is a mind that is ready to learn new things, relearn and improve the known things, and unlearn the outdated things. Lifelong learning also has, in a sense, a spiritual dimension. It lies in the humility to accept that there is no end to learning. When we are ready to learn and our power of receptivity is awakened, the whole world becomes a school and every life experience a teacher.
Today, technologies are rapidly evolving and changing life patterns within a lifetime. New ways of inexpensive printing, internet, and multimedia are ushering in radical changes and creating new complexities and contradictions in individual and social life. This flux in social groupings, economics, technology and Nature necessitates a regular revaluation and reframing of our thinking on education and learning. Various national and international education commissions are making serious efforts to answer such questions by redesigning the goals of education, the curriculum, and the tools of delivery.
Education is the greatest force for civilization. Passing on to the next generation the cumulative knowledge of sciences, technology, arts, fine arts, ethical values and spiritual realizations, in short the whole of civilizational heritage depends in the widest sense of education. In fact, the survival of human society depends on education. Experts in education have begun to emphasise that we should teach our children to be learners, rather than providing them occupational training, because the jobs that are available today may not exist tomorrow. Therefore, we must make learning about education itself a lifelong endeavour.
The policy makers in the field of education must themselves continue to learn and relearn their idea of education. Only then they will be able to revaluate and recognize their perspectives, priorities and practices in the education system and cater to the contemporary needs. Apart from learning to accumulate information, students must be trained in the art of inner assimilation through openness of mind, power of receptivity and above all, the humility to be lifelong learners. Studying and contemplating on the different perspectives and practices in education therefore warrants continuous effort from all thinkers and policy makers in the educational system. So let us learn to learn!
Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda